Sports News in Brief
PARIS — Squash's evolution as a TV-friendly sport, played against some of the world's most dramatic backdrops, should serve it well in its bid to become an Olympic sport in 2020, according to its federation president. Squash lost out to rugby sevens and golf in the campaign to replace baseball and softball for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. But the World Squash Federation (WSF), under the presidency of India's Narayana Ramachandran, has implemented revolutionary changes which have boosted its attraction for the global television viewer. This aspect had already weighed heavily on IOC members' minds when they came to vote in 2009.
MOHALI, India — Batting great Sunil Gavaskar has questioned the reappointment of Zimbabwe-born Duncan Fletcher as head coach of India's cricket team. "I wonder whether an Indian coach would have survived after 10 Test defeats," Gavaskar said on Indian TV. Indian media reported on Saturday the national cricket board (BCCI) had rewarded Fletcher for guiding the team from first to fourth on the Test rankings by reappointing him for another year. Fletcher was appointed in April 2011 for a two-year term and during his time at the helm the side have suffered crushing 4-0 Test-series defeats away to England and Australia.
INDIAN WELLS, California — Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro upset world No.3 Andy Murray 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-1 yesterday to reach the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters. Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, beat reigning US Open champion Murray for just the second time in seven meetings and booked a clash with world No.1 Novak Djokovic for a place in the final. Djokovic earlier remained unbeaten in 2013 with a 6-3 6-1 victory over France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The defeat means Murray will have to wait longer for a chance to overtake Roger Federer for the second spot in the world rankings.
SYDNEY — Braith Anasta has warned his Wests Tigers teammates that a repeat of last Monday's NRL performance against Newcastle will result in a similar outcome against Penrith today. Written off as wooden spoon contenders before the start of the season, the Panthers were hugely impressive against Canberra, chalking up a 32-10 win over the Raiders last Sunday. In contrast, the Tigers were woeful at Hunter Stadium as they slumped to a 42-10 defeat in what was a debut to forget for recent recruit Anasta. "We were immediately disappointed, but when you look at the stats and you look at the game, it's pretty obvious why we lost it," Anasta said ahead of Sunday's game at Campbelltown.
SYDNEY — Melbourne Rebels and Wallabies halfback Nick Phipps will join the NSW Waratahs in the 2014 Super Rugby season on a two-year deal. The Waratahs announced the deal on Saturday, as did the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) with the 24-year-old Phipps signing a two-year extension with the Wallabies. Phipps made his Test debut against Samoa in 2011 and has since earned 12 caps, including starting in eight of the Wallabies' past nine matches in the absence of star No.9 Will Genia.